Friday, April 12, 2013

Smart Rednecks

Probably a few of you read that and thought, well, there's an oxymoron.

I gotta disagree. Well, not always. Mark Twain said, "All generalizations are false, including this one."

But think back, if you would, to Sweet Home Alabama. I loved that movie. One line stuck out at me at the time.

"Honey, just 'cuz I talk slow doesn't mean I'm stupid." - Jake Perry

And, thus, the smart redneck is born. Just a simple country boy, with good 'ole boy mores and a twangy voice, that hides a little more under the hood of that beat up Chevy truck than one might see at first glance.

The unscripted tv show Duck Dynasty features a whole family of these characters. And they are, very exceptionally, characters.

Again, at first glance, simple country folk who pray at the dinner table and say some words wrong, but let's not ignore this family has built an empire. Using a simple idea--a duck call--and a love of family and hunting, they're flashing across our screens in all their redneckedness. Just like Sweet Home Alabama's Jake, they're easy to dismiss as just a little slow...

Until you really listen to them.

I adore this kind of juxtaposition between common sense brilliance hidden behind a little bit of motor oil and some camo. In reality, I've had the great pleasure of befriending a few guys who might not be viewed as movers and shakers, who hide behind that mask and because they are underestimated...

Come out on top every time.

I had to write some. I wanted to capture that small town boy, that guy next door who is underestimated, but shouldn't be out. He's thinking when he's standing there all quiet, just listening to you ramble. You're showing all your cards and he's methodically storing all that information away while he gives you a lopsided grin and a nod.

My Watkin's Pond series, starting off with Runaway Groom in January from Samhain, has these guys as heroes--a whole mess of country boys looking for love. Small town, after all, can mean big romance.

So what do you think? Are there boys out there hiding their big brains behind their redneckedness? Are they, "Happy, happy, happy," because people don't bother to look beyond the drawl and see that spark of innate intelligence glittering in their eye?

Do you like the small town heroes? Or is it just me?

Happy Writing!


  1. I love Sweet Home Alabama and have recently discovered the antics of the Duck Dynasty. I laugh so hard I cry! Red-bellied ping pong was one of my favorites. Your series sounds amazing and I can't wait to start it. Thanks! Rhonda D

  2. I know my share of smart rednecks. One who is rather close to me occasionally slips up and uses articulate words or throws out very intelligent information during general conversation.
    When that happens I always pick on him and tell him: Hey,___. Your smarts are showing.
    He usually grins, winks and tells me to shush.
    He is quite smart but enjoys playing the friendly good ol' boy.